Car Insurance Costs for 18-Year-Old Males and Females

Car Insurance Costs for 18-Year-Old Males and Females

Find Cheap 18-Year-Old Auto Insurance Quotes

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The cost of auto insurance for 18-year-olds is $7,179 per year, or $598 a month, for full coverage — almost triple the national average of $2,399 annually, or $200 monthly.

Our analysis found that Erie offers the cheapest car insurance for 18-year-olds, with an average price of $3,161 for an annual policy. Allstate, the most expensive insurer, charges 18-year-old drivers $7,306 more for the same coverage. Given this enormous difference between insurers, we recommend shopping around to get your best rates.

To help inform your search for auto insurance, we compared quotes for 18-year-olds by insurance company, gender and location.

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We also offer some strategies for how 18-year-olds can get cheap auto insurance:

How much is car insurance for an 18-year-old driver?

Full coverage car insurance for an 18-year-old driver costs $7,179 annually on average, or $598 monthly, but premiums vary drastically across insurance companies.

Car insurance quotes for 18-year-olds across insurers

Find Cheap 18-Year-Old Auto Insurance Quotes

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We found a $7,306 difference between annual rates from the cheapest insurer, Erie, and the most expensive insurer, Allstate. Huge gaps like this show why it's so important to compare insurance quotes to make sure you're getting your best rates.

  • Erie Insurance offered the cheapest rates at $3,161 annually, though it's only available in 13 states.
  • USAA, with an annual premium of $3,596, offered the second cheapest rates among the insurers we looked at; however, the company only offers car insurance policies to current and former members of the military and their families.
  • GEICO, with an annual premium of $4,651, is the cheapest car insurance company for 18-year-olds that is widely available across the country.
InsurerAnnual premium
Erie$3,161
USAA$3,596
GEICO$4,651
Nationwide$5,735
State Farm$6,336
Progressive$7,073
Average$7,179
Allstate$10,467

Nationwide comes next, with an average annual rate of $5,735, while State Farm and Progressive charge 18-year-olds even more for car insurance: $6,336 and $7,073, respectively. Allstate charges 18-year-old drivers the most, with an average annual rate of $10,467.

Does car insurance go down at 18?

Our analysis found that most young drivers will see their insurance rates go down by 12% when they turn 18. At 18, you pose less of a risk to insurers than newly licensed 16- and 17-year-olds do, and your rates reflect that decrease.

New drivers are the exception to this rule. If you're a new driver at 18 years old and are obtaining car insurance for the first time, you will pay more than a driver who was licensed at 16 and has two years of driving experience.

Average cost of car insurance for 18-year-old males vs. females

The average cost of car insurance for 18-year-old females is generally cheaper than that for 18-year-old males. For 18-year-olds, women pay $6,797 per year on average, while men pay $7,561.

AgeAnnual premium - maleAnnual premium - femalePercentage difference
18$7,561$6,79711%
19$6,311$5,73210%
20$5,590$5,07610%

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention motor vehicle death rate for male 16- to 19-year-olds was almost double the rate for females in that age group, making teenage males a significantly higher risk to insurers. However, some states — California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — prohibit insurers from using gender to determine car insurance rates. Accordingly, men and women in these states should pay the same price for auto insurance coverage, all else being equal.

Best cheap car insurance for 18-year-olds by state

We compared average car insurance premiums for the 10 most populous states in the U.S. and offer recommendations for the cheapest insurers for 18-year-olds in each.

North Carolina is the cheapest state for 18-year-old car insurance, with an annual premium 55% cheaper than the overall average.

Michigan is by far the most expensive state, with annual auto insurance costs for 18-year-olds almost three times more pricey than our overall average.

StateAverage 18-year-old annual premium
North Carolina$3,165
Ohio$5,079
Pennsylvania$4,809
California$5,675
Illinois$5,548
Texas$4,743
New York$6,862
Georgia$8,028
Florida$9,174
Michigan$18,704

Below, we recommend the cheapest auto insurance companies for an 18-year-old in the 10 most populous states.

The cheapest auto insurance company for 18-year-olds in the 10 most populous states

StateInsurerAverage annual premium
CaliforniaState Farm$3,556
FloridaState Farm$5,894
GeorgiaGeorgia Farm Bureau$3,127
IllinoisState Farm$3,447
MichiganAuto-Owners8,240
New YorkNYCM$5,100
North CarolinaProgressive$1,147
OhioGEICO$3,033
PennsylvaniaErie$3,042
TexasState Farm$4,145
USAA was excluded, as policies are only available for current or former military members and their families. Without its exclusion, it offers the cheapest car insurance for 18-year-olds in Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Can an 18-year-old get their own car insurance

An 18-year-old can purchase their own car insurance policy. However, we recommend getting added to your parents' policy if possible, as the additional cost will be much more affordable than taking out your own policy.

Included on policyAnnual premium
Parent without teenager$2,698
Parent with teenager$5,718
Teenager alone$7,178

The average cost of adding an 18-year-old to a parent's car insurance policy is $3,020 annually, but the average cost of an 18-year-old getting their own car insurance is $7,178 annually.

Parents will see a massive spike in rates when they add a teen driver to their policy, but by asking for discounts, they can help offset the increased cost. If the teen drives a separate car, for instance, parents might be able to obtain a multi-car discount. And if parents opt to stay with the same insurer for their teen's car, they may be rewarded with a loyalty discount.

How to get cheap car insurance at 18

After staying on your parents' policy, the best strategy to obtain cheap auto insurance quotes is to shop around. Prices can differ by the thousands, so be sure to contact multiple insurers to compare rates.

However, there are a number of other strategies 18-year-olds can use to secure auto insurance deals:

Take advantage of discounts. Insurers offer many discounts for which you may be eligible. If you are an 18-year-old high school or college student, you can get a good student discount on car insurance, provided you keep your GPA above a certain threshold. College students who leave their car at their parents' home during the academic year and attend a university more than 100 miles away can often get an away-from-home student discount, and perhaps could benefit from a low-mileage discount. Alternatively, if you're financially independent from your parents and live separately from them, you can save on your auto insurance policy by bundling it with your renters insurance.

Drive an affordable car. Expensive cars cost more to repair, which means they also cost more to insure. Our research found that the cars with the cheapest insurance for 18-year-olds included sports cars like the Mazda MX-5 Miata and the Ford Mustang, as well as SUVs like the Subaru Outback and the Buick Encore.

Increase your deductible. The higher your deductible, the lower your monthly premium. Consider increasing your deductible in order to get more affordable rates.

Use a telematics program. By sharing your driving data with your auto insurer via a telematics tracking device, you can prove that you're a safe driver worthy of lower premiums. Usage-based auto insurance programs allow you to earn significant discounts.

Reconsider how much coverage you need. Because 18-year-old drivers are statistically more likely to get into accidents, it's generally wise to buy a full coverage policy that includes both collision and comprehensive insurance. However, a minimum coverage policy might work if you, like many young drivers, have an older car and repairs would cost more than the car is worth.

If for whatever reason you cannot join your parents' policy, you'll take the same steps to get your own car insurance at 18 as you would at any other age. Begin by identifying how much car insurance you need, and collect key details about your vehicle, as well as your driving and insurance history.

After you've done this, reach out to various insurers to get quotes and identify the best deal. We recommend calling insurance companies for a quote rather than looking online. Going online might be more efficient, but you forfeit the added expertise of an insurance agent and potentially any discounts they can offer you.

Short-term insurance for 18-year-olds

Reputable car insurance companies do not sell short-term car insurance. If you're an 18-year-old driver and you see ads for one-day, one-week or one-month car insurance, don't be tempted; insurance policies generally only come in six-month or one-year terms, although you can typically cancel them at any time.

Should you only need insurance for a brief period of time, you'll need to purchase a policy and cancel it early. And you might already be covered by your existing policy. If you're home for winter or summer break, for instance, you won't need to buy insurance for this brief period. Just make sure your current insurer knows that you are home and will be using the car.

Methodology

We collected car insurance quotes for thousands of ZIP codes across the 10 most populated states in the U.S. Our sample drivers were 18-year-old men and women who drove a 2015 Honda Civic EX. All other parameters affecting car insurance rates were consistent; drivers were single and had a clean driving record. Coverage levels in the full coverage policy, including liability insurance, are listed below. These coverage levels are slightly higher than any individual state's minimum coverage requirements:

Coverage typeStudy limits
Bodily injury liability$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident
Property damage$25,000 per accident
Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident
Comprehensive and collision$500 deductible
Personal injury protection (PIP)Minimum when required by state

The analysis included 23 insurance companies, though rates were only added to our list of average prices and recommendations if their policies were available in at least three of the 10 states.

ValuePenguin's analysis used insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services. These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only — your own quotes may be different.

Mark is a Senior Research Analyst for ValuePenguin focusing on the insurance industry, primarily auto insurance. He previously worked in financial risk management at State Street Corporation.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.